A group of children are posing in front of a display of items as part of their Real World Learning class work.

Class Work: Real World Learning

SLS UKAdvice

Subject: Learning outside the classroom

Topic: Careers

Year Group: KS2

Synopsis: A look at how experiences outside the classroom can invigorate learning inside the classroom by Lisa Little who works for SLS’s partner, Durham Learning Resources

Lisa Little
Durham Learning Resources

Librarian’s view:

It’s always interesting to see how pupils react and learn in a situation away from the standard classroom environment.  It’s a chance to use literacy and numeracy skills learned in the classroom and watch them translate into actual real world – even workplace – activities.

Schools have many aims in relation to the achievements and outcomes of their pupils, but what is expected universally is a well-rounded pupil who can contribute to their community. It’s often difficult to promote learning outside the classroom for KS2 pupils which provides an insight into a more adult working world.

Several years ago we were approached to be part of Takeover Day which was championed by the Children’s Commissioner to create opportunities for pupils to takeover a role or service for the day. We found lots of opportunities for secondary school pupils but very little for primary, so we offered schools a half day experience out of the classroom for a group of Year 5 and Year 6 pupils to quite literally take over part of our SLS.

They were required to follow our service – so this meant taking an order, selecting resources, planning a full delivery route, updating the database, printing all required paper work and getting the resources to the van for delivery. Essentially they fulfilled the order from start to finish.

Our whole team is involved in customer service so we wanted to ensure the pupils were involved in all aspects.  We provided an office space and found that the pupils were much more enthusiastic with the stock check activities than our own team!

The session offers an out-of-classroom experience that aims to provide real world workspace knowledge, uses skills such as numeracy, literacy, organisation, planning and problem solving. It also boosts confidence through achieving tasks in an unfamiliar setting. 

Research by Learning outside the Classroom (LOtC) looks at how learning in a different setting or context can reinvigorate learning. https://www.creativeeducation.co.uk/

For example, actual experiences of outside the classroom learning can help to make subjects more vivid and interesting for pupils and enhance their understanding. It can also contribute significantly to pupils’ personal, social and emotional development. Typical feedback reveals students think this method is good because:

  • “You see rather than listen.”
  • “We learn in a fun way.”
  • “We like learning by doing.”

After our taster work days, children received a certificate for their work. We also ask them to become SLS ambassadors back at school, empowering them to explain to teachers and pupils about our warehouse and where the resources used in their lessons come from.

Creating learning experiences like this example in Durham demonstrates how our network of SLS partners offer schools much more than learning resources. If you’re intrigued to find out more about creative partnerships with schools, please send us a general enquiry and we’ll match you with someone who can help.